At the core of Daoism are ancient ideas concerning the Way, the fundamental process of existence (the Dao). Humans, as individuals and as a society, should be aligned with the Dao in order to attain the fullness of life and its potential. This book presents the history of early Daoism, tracing the development of the tradition between the first and the fifth centuries CE. This was an era of political instability and social turmoil in China but it was also a period of cultural efflorescence, which saw the appearance of new forms of literature and the integration of Buddhism in Chinese society and culture. Several Daoist movements emerged during this period, the best known being the Celestial Masters in the second century. Other relatively well-known lineages include the Upper Clarity and the Numinous Treasure lineages that appeared in the fourth century. The labels applied to these lineages refer to either textual or ritual categories and are very difficult to determine socially, and they obscure the social reality of early medieval China. The author argues that these lineages should be understood not as schools but as narrowly defined associations of masters and disciples, and he describes these diverse social groupings as "communities of practice." Shedding new light on a complex and multifaceted phenomenon, the formation of Daoism as a new religion in early medieval China, this book presents a major step forward in Daoist Studies.
1. Cults of Immortality 2. Blood Rites and Pure Covenants 3. Powers of Inscription 4. Sexual practice among medieval Daoists 5. The development of Daoist ritual 6. Conclusion
Collana: Routledge Studies in Taoism
Dimensioni: 234 x 156 mm
Pagine Arabe: 240